Worker dies at Suez Canal project amid complaints of tough work conditions
Construction vehicle at New Suez Canal - YOUM7/ Hazim Abdelsamad
By AMIRA EL-FEKKI

CAIRO: A worker in the Suez Canal development project excavation died Tuesday onsite, Maj. Gen.  Kamel el-Wazir, head of the military’s Engineering Authority, announced in press statements Wednesday.

Wazir said the man, who was working on a bulldozer, lost balance and fell down, hitting his head, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Wednesday. This is the first reported death since digging began on Aug. 5.

Deputy Health Minister Hisham al-Shenawy explained that the 47-year-old worker suffered a brain hemorrhage after his head hit the ground, ONA News Agency reported Sept. 9.

Meanwhile, workers have reportedly complained of the tough and unsafe work conditions, claiming contractors were financially abusing them, Al-Shorouq reported Thursday, based on a couple of workers’ statements. The workers said potable water was an issue, as well as tents designated for the workers to rest being insufficient for the desert’s hot weather.

According to workers, digging is ongoing 24 hours a day. A worker told Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath Channel on Sept. 6 that there are rotating shifts, which start at 6 a.m. and continue overnight, with breaks in-between.

The Ministry of Manpower has not announced the total number of workers at the canal, mainly because the network of workers is informal. Manpower Minister Nahed Hassan Ashry had previously demanded a count for workers in order to be able to provide them with the necessary social and medical assistance.

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